I have to confess that I have let my eye wander from the ball. I have slipped, missed..or just deliberately wandered away from the problem facing home educators in England and gone and hidden under the duvet instead. It is, after all, winter. Not just winter, but just after Christmas. And we have been fighting this Badman/Government attack on home educators for - oh - such a very long time. I forget how long now. But it seems to have overshadowed our whole year. And I feel, sadly, that it will overshadow - in one way or another - 2010 too.
So, because I feel I am out of the loop, and relatively uninformed, I am grateful for those who keep us updated on the current situation, like here:
I give a snippet:
"The Children Schools and Families Bill had its first reading on November 19, less than six weeks after the [Badman] consultation closed. It is virtually inconceivable that the DCSF could have read and analyzed these thousands of responses in such a short time period, much less have actually taken the respondants’ views into consideration. The proposed legislation makes it clear, in fact, that the government did not consider the views of home educating families at all.
To summarize these changes very briefly, if the bill were to pass as proposed parents would no longer have the power to decide how their children will be educated. If they wish to educate their children at home, they will need permission from the state. Local authorities will be able to deny this permission on virtually any grounds they choose, and if permission is once denied, then it may be denied for all time. No second chance, no appeal.
Registration will not be compulsory, but parents who do not register their children (that is, request permission from the local authorities) run the risk of having their children automatically ordered to attend school.
Worst of all, if the family complies with these demands, they will still be forced to allow local authorities to inspect their homes and interrogate children as young as five years old for up to four hours at a time with no parent or trusted adult present. Parents who object to this or who refuse to allow their children to be questioned alone by local authorities education officers know that the local authorities can use their refusal as grounds to order the children to attend school."
I know I should be following all of this and be proactively doing - well - something. But I am so very tired of it all. The duvet is calling me.